The Australian, who came into the event ranked 339th in the
world, survived a windswept final round with a four-over-par 76
at the TPC San Antonio.
It was the highest closing score by a winner of a tour event
since 2004, but Bowditch had no complaints after securing his
first victory in 110 starts, earning $1.116 million, along with
a prized invitation to the Masters in two weeks.
"It's so hard out there. I've never really felt that way for a
whole day," he told Golf Channel after tapping in from six
inches for a bogey at the final hole to finish at eight-under
280 and edge Americans Will MacKenzie (70) and Daniel Summerhays (71).
Bowditch is the third Australian to win on the tour this year,
joining Jason Day (WGC Match Play) and John Senden (Tampa Bay
The 30-year-old from Queensland, the same state as Day, Senden
and Masters champion Adam Scott, was a top junior player whose
professional career temporarily was stalled as he battled
"Everyone's dealt with something," Bowditch said. "You just move
on and keep learning and growing."
Bowditch started the final round with a three-stroke lead but
surrendered his advantage in only four holes to fall back into a
tie with Matt Kuchar.
Six-time PGA Tour winner Kuchar remained tied for the lead after
nine holes, but faded with bogeys at the next two holes and
eventually finished two strokes behind, equal fourth.
Bowditch, displaying a deft short game whenever he missed a
green, birdied the par-five 14th to take a two-stroke lead that
held up down the stretch when none of his rivals could sustain a
challenge in the difficult conditions.
But Bowditch remained patient to become the latest in a line of
long-shot winners on tour. Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson are the
only major champions to triumph this calendar year.
Kevin Na received a two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in
a fairway bunker at the fifth hole. He shot a 76 to finish five
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina;
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